The Meaning of Matthew 11:5 Explained

Matthew 11:5

KJV: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

YLT: blind receive sight, and lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and deaf hear, dead are raised, and poor have good news proclaimed,

Darby: Blind men see and lame walk; lepers are cleansed, and deaf hear; and dead are raised, and poor have glad tidings preached to them:

ASV: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good tidings preached to them.

What does Matthew 11:5 Mean?

Context Summary

Matthew 11:1-10 - How Doubts May Be Solved
The Baptist was languishing in a gloomy dungeon in the castle of Machaerus, on the farther shores of the Dead Sea-like a wild creature of the desert, suddenly entrapped. The darkness of his cell depressed his spirit; it seemed strange, too, if Jesus were the Messiah, that He did not overthrow the tyrant rule of Herod and release His captive friend.
When you are in doubt, go straight to Jesus and ask Him to deal with it! Our Lord did not argue with the messengers sent by John, but pointed to the beneficent works that the Father had given Him to do. See John 5:36; also Isaiah 29:18; Isaiah 35:5-6. The influence of Christ on individuals and the world is the best testimony to the validity of His claims. The demonstration of Christianity is to be found in its acceptance and practice.
The disciples had gone before our Lord uttered this great eulogium on His faithful friend, lest he should be exalted beyond measure, and lest his faith should not have room to grow. Ah, downcast soul, who art writing hard things of thyself, it may be that thy merciful Lord is viewing thy life more accurately and estimating it more lovingly than thou knowest! [source]

Chapter Summary: Matthew 11

1  John sends his disciples to Jesus
7  Jesus' testimony concerning John
16  The perverse judgment of the people concerning the Son
20  Jesus upbraids Korazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum;
25  and praising his Father's wisdom in revealing the Gospel to the simple,
28  he calls to him those who are weary and burdened

Greek Commentary for Matthew 11:5

And the dead are raised up [και νεκροι εγειρονται]
Like that of the son of the widow of Nain. Did he raise the dead also on this occasion? “Tell John your story over again and remind him of these prophetic texts, Isaiah 35:5; Isaiah 61:1 ” (Bruce). The items were convincing enough and clearer than mere eschatological symbolism. “The poor” in particular have the gospel, a climax. [source]
The lame walk []
Tynd., The halt go. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Matthew 11:5

Matthew 9:32 Dumb [κωφὸν]
The word is also used of deafness (Matthew 11:5; Mark 7:32; Luke 7:22). It means dull or blunted. Thus Homer applies it to the earth; the dull, senseless earth (“Iliad,” xxiv., 25). Also to a blunted dart (“Iliad,” xi., 390). The classical writers use it of speech, hearing, sight, and mental perception. In the New Testament, only of hearing and speech, the meaning in each case being determined by the context. [source]
Matthew 9:32 A dumb man [κωπον]
Literally blunted in tongue as here and so dumb, in ear as in Matthew 11:5 and so deaf. Homer used it of a blunted dart (Iliad xi. 390). Others applied it to mental dulness. [source]
Luke 2:10 I bring you good tidings of great joy [ευαγγελιζομαι μιν χαραν μεγαλην]
Wycliff, “I evangelize to you a great joy.” The active verb ευαγγελιζω — euaggelizō occurs only in late Greek writers, lxx, a few papyri examples, and the N.T. The middle (deponent) appears from Aristophanes on. Luke and Paul employ both substantive ευαγγελιον — euaggelion and verb ευαγγελιζω — euaggelizō very frequently. It is to Paul‘s influence that we owe their frequency and popularity in the language of Christendom (George Milligan, The Epistles to the Thessalonians, p. 143). The other Gospels do not have the verb save Matthew 11:5 and that in a quotation (Isaiah 61:1).sa120 [source]
John 5:21 Quickeneth whom he will [ους τελει ζωοποιει]
Present active indicative of ζωοποιεω — zōopoieō (from ζωοποιος — zōopoios making alive), common in Paul (1 Corinthians 15:45, etc.). As yet, so far as we know, Jesus had not raised the dead, but he claims the power to do it on a par with the power of the Father. The raising of the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17) is not far ahead, followed by the message to the Baptist which speaks of this same power (Luke 7:22; Matthew 11:5), and the raising of Jairus‘ daughter (Matthew 9:18, Matthew 9:22-26). Jesus exercises this power on those “whom he wills.” Christ has power to quicken both body and soul. [source]
John 9:2 Who did sin? [τις ημαρτεν]
Second aorist active indicative of αμαρτανω — hamartanō See Acts 3:2; Acts 14:8 for two examples of lameness from birth. Blindness is common in the Orient and Jesus healed many cases (cf. Mark 8:23; Mark 10:46) and mentions this fact as one of the marks of the Messiah in the message to the Baptist (Matthew 11:5). This is the only example of congenital blindness healed. It is not clear that the disciples expected Jesus to heal this case. They are puzzled by the Jewish notion that sickness was a penalty for sin. The Book of Job had shown that this was not always the case and Jesus shows it also (Luke 13:1-5). If this man was guilty, it was due to prenatal sin on his part, a curious notion surely. The other alternative charged it upon his parents. That is sometimes true (Exodus 20:5, etc.), but by no means always. The rabbinical casuists loved to split hairs on this problem. Ezekiel (Ezekiel 18:20) says: “The soul that sinneth it shall die” (individual responsibility for sin committed). There is something in heredity, but not everything. That he should be born blind Probably consecutive (or sub-final) use of ινα — hina with first aorist passive subjunctive of γενναω — gennaō f0). [source]

What do the individual words in Matthew 11:5 mean?

Blind receive sight and lame walk lepers are cleansed deaf hear dead are raised poor are gospelized
τυφλοὶ ἀναβλέπουσιν καὶ χωλοὶ περιπατοῦσιν λεπροὶ καθαρίζονται κωφοὶ ἀκούουσιν νεκροὶ ἐγείρονται πτωχοὶ εὐαγγελίζονται

τυφλοὶ  Blind 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: τυφλός  
Sense: blind.
ἀναβλέπουσιν  receive  sight 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: ἀναβλέπω  
Sense: to look up.
χωλοὶ  lame 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: χωλός  
Sense: lame.
περιπατοῦσιν  walk 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: περιπατέω  
Sense: to walk.
λεπροὶ  lepers 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: λεπρός  
Sense: scaly, rough.
καθαρίζονται  are  cleansed 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Middle or Passive, 3rd Person Plural
Root: καθαρίζω 
Sense: to make clean, cleanse.
κωφοὶ  deaf 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: κωφός  
Sense: blunted, dull.
ἀκούουσιν  hear 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: ἀκουστός 
Sense: to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf.
νεκροὶ  dead 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: νεκρός  
Sense: properly.
ἐγείρονται  are  raised 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Middle or Passive, 3rd Person Plural
Root: ἐγείρω  
Sense: to arouse, cause to rise.
πτωχοὶ  poor 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: πτωχός  
Sense: reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms.
εὐαγγελίζονται  are  gospelized 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Middle or Passive, 3rd Person Plural
Root: εὐαγγελίζω  
Sense: to bring good news, to announce glad tidings.